Officer Alex devotes some time to cop-style FAQs
From time to time, here at The Pulse, I receive questions from curious readers and I’ve decided to dedicate another column to answering the most frequent of such.
While Q&As may be commonplace in the periodical world, I consider this is a rare treat for me personally, since often when I’m answering questions it is done in person, and I have to deal with the inconvenience of replies and retorts. Most cops I know would really just appreciate a little respectful silence so we can rush to the next perceived emergency.
But here, not only can I address a few common queries through a one-way venue, I don’t have to do so while desperately trying to just finish eating a damn sandwich in solitude or feigning profound interest.
“Are you crazy or something?”
Let’s just get this one right out of the way. Quite simply? No. While its frequency in being asked is disconcerting, as a reasonable person I am not shocked by this question, what with mention of a few weird dreams and my “behavior” from time to time. Not only am I not crazy, I would go so far as to say I can prove unequivocally how sane I am more readily than any ten people you could name, dear Reader.
“How can this be?” you ask? Because I have Papers that prove it. Do you?
Think about it. You just have to take most people at their word that they are sane; in my case, I have it documented. I have been psychologically screened more times than a Catholic priest at a boys summer camp, and I have passed them without fail...more or less.
Each and every time I have participated in an event that would make you want to shred your face into thin strips and grill them with scallions (and perhaps some crushed garlic and Emeril’s Essence...the man is a genius!), I have spoken to degreed professionals who said I was fine to return to work after batteries of written, individual and group counseling.
As a matter of fact, I carry those papers either just inside my uniform shirt or just above my car’s sun visor to provide evidence when confronted, and have gone from throwing up on the side of a road alone after leaving a friend’s body inside twisted wreckage, to actually looking forward to hanging out with the guys at the after-action reports. I am absolutely, positively, not crazy. I just see a lot of weird stuff.
“How is it a pretty girl can get out of a ticket by crying?”
This is one of the greatest misconceptions in patrol work. Not only do I write girls tickets, the prettier they are and the harder they cry, the more of them I write.
Does this make me rude? Absolutely not. In fact, I make a practice of telling them I will wait at the rear of the car until they stop, but I will still need them to sign down here at the bottom (not being an admission of guilt, of course) when they’re done.
I’ve found that the tears instantly stop, their faces wrinkle into an angry and disgusted frown, and they call me a bastard…indicating they really weren’t as upset as they let on! Treachery, treachery, treachery. One even said, “But I’m cute!”
Apparently, the ploy works for some, but for the life of me, I’m not sure why. Do they presume that by my granting them leniency, later down the road they will seek me out to show me their gratitude by seducing me or at least producing their traffic-violating breasts? That I’ll risk my job and relationship over a traffic ticket?
No. In fact, I consider it my duty to be even less discretionary in those situations because these misguided women can’t expect to get by for their whole life on looks that will, in time, inevitably fail them.
Not only am I helping save lives by reducing traffic offenses, I am giving them real-life survival skills prior to the ravages of time and cosmetic surgery, and I have to be honest…it’s that kind of moral resolve that gives me the ability to cite a girl whose clearly displayed breast implants cost more than the resale value of the car I drive.
Besides, any remaining capacity for compassion I possess is reserved for children and the elderly, not the high-maintenance chick in a hurry to get back to making some poor bastard’s life a living hell.
All this and only two questions answered? It hardly seems adequate…but it’s a start and there is always next issue.
Keep the Letters to Officer Alex coming folks, and ladies? Save your tears. They won’t get you out of a ticket from Officer Teach, but he will gladly mix them with some chilled vodka and a wedge of lime.